Jacques Nimki - Common Knowledge
14 March 2012 - 20 October 2013
Rain or Shine. We can always find someone on the Common. Walking a dog, running, taking a short cut home, playing games, or just trying to get away from it all. Whatever it is there is always something going on.
For generations the Common has been a backdrop to hundreds of stories, and incidents. Many recorded, some untold and even more forgotten. It has borne witness to great moments of inspiration joy, sadness and grief. Yet, how many times on a visit do we consider this backdrop as a physical living entity, and like its users, one that evolves, grows and adapts to change.
Common Knowledge is an on-going project that catalogues the constantly changing relationship between the Common and its users. The project uses the hidden natural, historical & man made elements of the Common; in order to gives us an opportunity to see and engage with the Common from an alternative perspective. A series of evolving works can be found on the common throughout the year and can be further explored through a physical map and a mobile app. Jacques Nimki October 2012
From October 2012- October 2013 a series of artworks by Nimki that take the form of printed panels and signs are installed in various locations around the Common, offering an alternative perspective of how we view and engage with this unique and much loved green space. Some will remain throughout the year, and others will change with the seasons. The locations are marked on the map below and we challenge you to find them all!
The Guardians of the Common Knowledge have also produced a printed map (available in Tooting and Balham Library, and the Cafe on the Common) and a downloadable mobile app that will help you discover and uncover some of the secrets of Tooting Common.
Common Knowledge is based on Tooting Common, a 221 acre site within Wandsworth. It will use as its foundation the ecological significance of the site, both in terms of wildlife habitats and plant species, together with the cultural history to tell its story to the local community and visitors alike. The project seeks to unlock the heritage secrets of the site and draw on a heritage that stretches back before the 1870s when it was changed from primarily agricultural use to that of recreation.
Common Knowledge seeks to restore the hidden heritage of this unique public space in London, and give it a voice in the community. A team of volunteers drawn from local residents have become “Guardians of the Common Knowledge” (GOCKs) who worked with artist Jacques Nimki to create a programme of workshops, events, tours, alternative signage, maps and apps that will unfold across the Common during the next 18 months.
"When we look at place in relation to people, we can see clearly that a place should not be seen as independent as bounded and as separate from other places. A plot of land may indeed be a line drawn on a map, separated by roads and defined by colour, a place is defined by the people who use it and how they use it and why Places should be seen as open; that is, as receptive to ideas, people and power relations, extending way beyond them." (D Massey, 'Spatial Divisions of Labour' 1995)
“In all parks or common areas, such as Tooting common, returning users form habitual behavior, arrive at a particular time, park in the same place and walk in a certain direction, usually accessing what is officially made available – the café, the duck-pond, the path, the pool, the play area etc. Others, more casual users tend to interact with the common in a different way, To escape, walk and think, to make love and drink, to celebrate cultural or family events, and to play games and roam, the choices numerous, arbitrary and in many cases one off. In addition, the common is also more than the people who use it or how it is thought of as a place situated in time. It is also home to thousands of species of flora and fauna that exist in a hidden history of their own making, living and growing in spaces that are usually unexplored and in most cases generally ignored. “ (Jacques Nimki)
Jacques Nimki works from and within the urban landscape, using mainly weeds and flowers as a way of exploring how we preceive others and ourselves within particular environments. He works in a variety of media including painting, drawing, installation and education and research projects.
Exhibitions and commissions include 'Charter of the Forest: the Collection', Lincoln 2011, Tatton Park Biennial 2009, 'Offsite', Ikon Gallery 2007, Camden Arts Centre 2004 and a recent project at Compton Verney 's 'Summer Space'.